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Students storm UCLA building to protest expected UC system fee increase [Updated]

About 30 students stormed UCLA’s Campbell Hall and barricaded the doors with chains and bike locks early this morning to protest a student fee increase that is expected to be endorsed by the University of California’s Board of Regents today.

Me-UCfees19 [Updated at 8:39 a.m.: The UC Regents have started to meet, and hundreds of students have surrounded the building, protesting the proposed fee hike.]

Students who spent the night were sprawled outside Campbell Hall in sleeping bags. They carried posters and signs that read, “Don’t take our education away” and “Don’t privatize, democratize.” Many wore bandannas over their faces.

Dozens of other students spent the night camped out in tents on top of Parking Structure 4. Hundreds of other students are expected to join the protesters and demonstrate at the UC Regents meeting that will take place later today.

The proposed two-step student fee increase would raise UC undergraduate education costs more than $2,500, or 32%.The annual cost of a UC education, not including campus-based fees would rise to $10,302.

Kyle Tramberly, a junior at UC San Diego, said he did not sleep since arriving at UCLA late Wednesday night.

“I’m here in solidarity with people across the state of California that are being subjugated to these outrageous fee increases,” he said. “I can’t afford the fee increases, personally. I have to take out private loans in order to cover this. It’s completely unjust to put the burden on students.”

A key committee of the UC Regents backed the two-step hike Wednesday, despite appeals from students who urged the board to at least postpone a vote. About 500 student and labor-union activists demonstrated outside the meeting. Fourteen were arrested.

-- My-Thuan Tran

Photo: Students march in front of Covel Commons at UCLA, where regents will be voting on a fee increase later in the day. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Masked250 Audio: Statement from demonstrators

More photos  >>

Comments () | Archives (281)

What an ironic situation. There are two groups of protesters. One are the overpaid employee unions who are unwilling to have more cuts or layoffs. The opposing group are the students who will pay more if there are no more cuts or layoffs. The state is broke. I suppose they had some relief, considering half the stimulus was given to education. But the porkulus drug is wearing off and there is another 21 billion CA deficit about to be delivered.

What an ironic situation. There are two groups of protesters. One are the overpaid employee unions who are unwilling to have more cuts or layoffs. The opposing group are the students who will pay more if there are no more cuts or layoffs. The state is broke. I suppose they had some relief, considering half the stimulus was given to education. But the porkulus drug is wearing off and there is another 21 billion CA deficit about to be delivered.

Try iTunes University and the web. "Higher Education" these days is a joke. I can sit in Stanford, MIT, Berkely, etc. from my home, learn programming, music, history, etc.

People need to just become educated. They tried to make the fees like $100 (from free) in the U.N.A.M. in Mexico City a few years ago and the students shut down the University for a YEAR.

Wake up, this debt for education thing is a scam, all the information is there, you just have to look for it.

This is coming from a Phi Beta Kappa graduate who can't believe what people are paying these days, it is an outrage of governement, business and media.

Ah yes, the (tired) old line about "if you don't like taxes don't call the cops blah blah blah."

How original.

Don't forget the Post Office! Why send 1st class mail using the USPS if you don't like govt. services?

How about because they are a monopoly -- backed up by force -- and the cops you're so proud of will shoot people who don't play by "the rules"?

Sheesh. Public education works, all right. It creates plenty of people to buy into this nonsense.

I am currently a grad student at UCLA.

University education is a zero sum game. it is a not-for-profit institution which needs X amount of money to operate.

The state is not giving it the money it needs because the state has no money. But the operating costs have to come from somewhere.

It sucks. We wish it were different, but it is not.

We will be deeper in debt when we graduate, but we will graduate with a top tier degree and we will go on to do great things for the state so that it may again in the future give educations to deserving students for a bargain price.

As a UC student, I'd like to weigh in against the nay-sayers.

The accessibility of the UC is one of the many shining qualities about it. A 32% increase in fees is tremendous, especially with the tremendous amount of waste and nonsense that the schools spend their money on.

I'm not saying that fee increases aren't the best option, they may well be, but I doubt it. The president of University of California's paycheck is enough to send 110 students to school every year.

It should also be noted that individual professors, the American Teacher's Association and the professors' union all back the student protests. Professors back the protest despite the fact that they are taking pay cuts.

Just because there are more expensive schools doesn't mean the UC should be more expensive, and while going to school full time and making grades, getting a second or third job is not always an option. Three thousand dollars is a good chunk of money.

But then, of course, I'm only a college student. Who does feel entitled to an education, and believes that everybody is entitled to an education of that very same quality, if they choose to pursue it.

I bet a lot of these "get a job" posters are going to be the first to complain when their job goes to some younger, educated foreigner (who got their education paid for by a government).

Then they'll complain when they try to get "re-training" for another field and, guess what - they won't be able to afford it.

Protesting against the Regents is seriously misguided. Students should be protesting the fact that Californians refuse any tax increases -- alcohol taxes, commercial real estate taxes, and corporate income taxes to name a few -- that could close the yawning budget deficit and save the world's greatest university system from collapse. Blame the people of California, who always seem to want something for nothing. And, who are always moaning, without really knowing anything about the state's various tax and fee structures, that they're already paying too much. You get what you pay for Californians. As Pogo said: "We have have met the enemy, and he is us!"

I am a graduate student at UCLA. My office is near the campbell hall. The purpose of the 'seizure' is quite unclear. The entrances are covered with posters and paper and a bike rack has been pulled in front of another door. There is a manifesto even admitting the occupants have no demands. Most students are entirely oblivious to what's going on there. Those curious enough to want speak with someone in the building are told that they they need to go away because "people's lives are at stake." Whatever that means.

The problem is with Sacramento's treatment of the UC system, not with the regents. Its support has been eroding for years. Its too bad that protesters feel the need to interrupt and impede the quality of the education of the same students they claim to be working on behalf of.

I do not understand how all of these people can just say "Get another job!" like it's nothing. Do you have any idea of the economic and time constraints students are under these days? We're in a RECESSION. It's hard enough to find ANY job, let alone two, not to mention that the university we might look to for student employment is cutting back on everything (except sports). I think it's also ridiculous to consider working multiple jobs at an elite (yes, UCLA still is) university. Given the passionate and hardworking students that UCLA attracts, forcing them to work multiple jobs simply to support their education would seriously diminish the campus and its quality of life, not to mention, the students' own education.

These fee increases seriously affect the diversity of this campus. Cost increases won't affect the rich kids (boohoo, maybe you won't get that BMW) or the poorest (the supposedly 30% of UC students who are covered), but the middle class. These are the kids who ARE working multiple jobs, using loans and grants. They're calculating the costs from quarter to quarter. Maybe, they're receiving no support from their family, maybe they're supporting their family. In my mind, they're being marginalized by the UC system and the state of California. As a public university system for the people of California, why are we pricing Californians out of a education?

One of my friends from high school worked 2-3 jobs during her first 2 years at UC Santa Cruz just to support her education, in addition to loans and financial aid. She received no financial support from her family. She essentially disappeared from the face of the earth just trying to support herself. Yet when she transferred to UNC, Chapel Hill, she received more financial aid from them as an out-of-state student than she did as an in-state student at a UC. She was only able to enjoy and appreciate college after transferring. That just seems wrong to me.

I think that we need to reconsider how much we value the UC system. It's true that we need to support our public universities if we want to maintain their quality; however, I don't think that this should be done by gouging the very people the universities should be serving.

"Bunch of whiners. Won't show their faces to support their cause because their heart really isn't in it, they just want an excuse to be morons."

This coming from someone posting under the name "SickNTired" on an anonymous message board.

Nope. No irony there.

I agree with many points, though.

The UC situation is the result of the overall state budget. But to call people morons because they are protesting a fee hike for their education is ridiculous. What are they going to do? Roll over and take it? Maybe if they wore teabags on their head, and weren't brown, protesting would've been acceptable?

When I first attended UCLA in 1991, tuition was under $1000 per quarter. It was the reason I chose to stay in-state and go to a public school over a private out-of-state school. By the end of my first year, tuition was over $1200 a quarter.

The UC Regents are right to think that they need to keep up with economic concerns, but far too often they're grabbing cash when they increase student fees while giving very little back to the university in return. Ask any classifed worker in the UC system how their unions are treated by the Regents.

Education should not be a corporation with the same economies as private business. This is certainly the case for a state university system.

Higher education, in general, is screwed and I pity the students that come out of these schools (even the good ones like Cal and UCLA) with 100,000s in debt and a society that is about more debt and less opportunity.

Our pension system has screwed up everything else, especially our education system. When over 25% of the state's budget (OUR MONEY) is going to pay govt worker pensions -- and its projected to be near 40% by 2015 -- it looks like we've permanently traded education for pensions in our budget. The revolt should be about the crazy pensions.

How you kids like the Lefty-Dems now ? California has reached the point in time where more people are receiving state assistance than are working. Someone has to be working so road, school and general tax money can be available kids.

There are no free lunches kids the DEMS social programs took all the money. All the Free healthcare, food and goodies everyone wanted. So what do we do know ? Ask OBAMA to print some more for you ?

"Kyle Tramberly, a junior at UC San Diego, said he did not sleep since arriving at UCLA late Wednesday night."

Yeah, JC. Kyle Tramberly sounds like a reeeeallllll ethnic name. Try reading the article before you show your racism.

It is really disheartening to read how many short sighted and selfish people are posting on this site. For those of you who think inflation is part of life, it wouldn't be until 2050 that the fees would reach the 2010 levels assuming a 4% inflation rate (which is on the very high end already).

Soon, only the rich will have any opportunity in this once great country. The middle class is near extinction and poor get poorer and the rich get richer! This is the Change we can believe in? Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.

Somebody said pretty soon education will fall to levels of some of the poorest southern states.

No surprise.

See some of the rednecks already in LA posting on this subject.

Let’s try this: I take back all my taxable income, as well as portion of my property taxes I currently paying out to support “public education” to the local, state and federal governments. That’s way, we are all on our own, and each is responsible for sending their own kid(s) to school (k-12), college and/or university. See let's how this will work?

You don't have a heart if your not a liberal in your 20's, but you have no brains if you're not a conservative by your 40's. What else do you expect from these kids who have no idea of the real world... but then again, that's what you left win nut jobs want..ignorant masses.

The UC system is crawling with non-residents. Why don't they just quadruple non-resident tuition? Our state does not have an obligation to educate every friggin' nation on this planet!

Not only at UCLA, but over 150UC Santa Cruz students have staged a mass sit-in inside Kerr Hall, the central admin building at UCSC. The Executive Vice Chancellor and Campus Provost is in discussion with the students.

Word has it that over 200 students have occupied an admin building at UC Davis.

Anyone who has taken a college course in Marxism knows that the communist revolution only occurs when capitalism has separated society into two classes that gives rise to a privileged few at the expense of the greater masses.. That's why education is so important. It's a great equalizer that prevents such economic disparity and ignorance. Without it, economic injustice is our future and the communist revolution is around the corner.

Here's whats pathetic about this. Teachers who work at the prisons are making up to 120,000 a year. The prison system assigns inmates to classes who are lifers........that means they will never get out. They have guys/gals in these classes who are in their 60's, 70's, even 80's. Theses classes are also full of inmates from other countries. About 70% of these classes are full of felons from Mexico who upon release from prison are deported to Mexico. Why are we paying for these guys to be educated at all? I don't know of anyone in the private sector getting paid like that. The inmate assigning officer doesn't care if he's a lifer, in a coma, is blind, is so mentally or physically that he can't even come to class. They still assign them anyway. Many of these inmates are on medications that knock them out and can't even do their work. But that doesn't matter.....as long as these classes are full......that's all that matters. It may take a guy 3 years to go from a 2nd grade reading level to a 3rd, but they don't care. They just want bodies in the seats. These guys are also getting the newest of newest text books........computers.........computer programs.....you name it, they are getting it. These aren't just academic classes....they have vocational classes to for lifers and illegal immigrants. There is an avg of 1200 inmates at each institution in California in the education programs. By the time you figure out the cost of paying for their teachers, guards, housing, food, etc.......it is just ludicrous. The cost of educating one inmate is more than the cost of sending 5 to Harvard each year.

Most of these guys just show up to class.........screw around.......do very little work.........and try to milk the system. It's a teachers dream.........very little work for a ton of money....and the inmate likes it because very little is required of him. At a time when everyone else is cutting programs and raising tuition.......these guys are getting more.

I say it's time to stop prison education and put that money back into public schools.

Here's a few more bits of information. The teachers get paid no matter what. If the yards are locked down, for a day or for a month......they still get paid. If the Crips and Southerners are locked down and say that 90% of your class are part of these gangs.......then we are paying teachers up to 500 a a day to teach 3 inmates. That's right............3 inmates. The rest of the inmates get 6.5 hours of credited lock down time. The only one losing here are public school kids....I need someone who has a loud voice to start spreading this news. Something needs to change.

I've got a solution. Join the military. "Ask NOT what your country can do for YOU, ask what YOU can do for your country." The VA will pay all your bills. Even for those of you who believe Art and Chicano Studies are actual majors. Just because you get get a warm fuzzy from your studies doesn't make us more competitive in the world

i applaud their efforts, and certainly understand their points, but the students' time could be much better be spent protesting the for-profit horrors found in their campus's animal research lab's (that being the campus of the University of Cruelty to Lab Animals)

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